THIS IS A NON-SPOILING REVIEW, SAVE FOR THE SECTION LABELED ‘SPOILAGE AHEAD’.
Genre- SciFi (Battlestar Galactica prequel)
Director- Jeffery Reiner
Writers- Ron Moore, Remi Aubuchon, Jane Espenson, Ryan Mottesheard
Actors- Eric Stoltz as Daniel Greystone, Esai Morales as Joseph Adama,
Paula Malcomson as Amanda Greystone, Allesandra Toreson as Zoe Greystone,
Magda Apanowicz as Lacy Rand.
Time- 58 years before BSG; Tech in relation to us is futuristic.
Setting- On planet of Caprica
Summary- Follows two families after the loss of their daughters.
Opens series by unfolding the creation of cyclons.
This pilot takes you to a world not too far off from where we stand. The opening scenes could shock some viewers (not kid-friendly!). We follow two families struck by the tragedy of the loss of their daughters in a terrorist explosion on the city train.
Daniel Greystone, a Bill Gates-like character who made his fortune from tinkering in his parent’s basement and his wife, Amanda Greystone, are strongly portrayed by Eric Stoltz and Paula Malcomson respectively. Even with all their money and privilege, their daughter, Zoe, is of course, an unhappy teenager in more ways than one.
Esai Morales gives us Joseph Adams, a lawyer with ties to Tauron underworld who loses both his wife & daughter in the explosion. Esai’s performance sets up his side of the story perfectly as the hardy, stoic, and honor bound foil to Daniel Greystone’s seemingly blasphemous aim to replicate their loved ones.
Naturally, Greystone’s inclination towards tech solutions drives him to seek out a way to bring their loved ones back from the dead. (I won’t say how b/c that’s part of the fun of watching the reveal!) But in the pursuit of this goal, Daniel pushes Joseph to bend his moral compass.
The feel of this series is very different from BSG. It is smoother in camera movement, more ‘established’ in set design and dressing, and more saturated with color and life than BSG. Bear McCreary is on board again for music and I feel like it sounds more like Terminator TSCC than it does BSG, but maybe that’s just me!
Generally, this pilot kicks off the series strongly with its foundation of a richly detailed background, depth of human emotion, and relateable characters. Can’t wait for the series to begin! It begs to ask, “Can you copy the human soul?”
The deleted scenes are a must-see! The offer tidbits of plot that may or may not make it into the series.
Commentary is by director, Jeffery Reiner, and co-creator, Ron Moore. Very informative and topical. I really enjoyed their insights.
ZEN’S RATING: 4 OUTTA 5 CRACKS OF THE WHIP!
Buy or download it here: http://www.capricadvd.com/
WARNING: SPOILAGE AHEAD!!
ZEN’S IMPRESSIONS ON “CAPRICA”:
Thematically speaking, in this pilot we can see the beginnings of the movement of monotheism and the weaving of the one true God with the destiny of the cylons and humankind alike.
They have done a great job with constructing a rich background for the different peoples of the colonies. I am incredibly intrigued by the culture of the Taurons even though it seems a bit heavy handed with the Sicilian mob references in culture and dress. Still, I want to know more! When it is revealed that the Adams’ family name is really “Adama”, I was doubly hooked.
At the end of the pilot, I was dismayed to understand that cybernetic lifeform nodes, or “cylons”, were ultimately created from the desperation and devastation of personal loss thus proving just how far some will go to out think the fragility of the human condition.
MOST SHOCKING SCENES:
The V Club that the teenagers have constructed for themselves is disturbing at best though I do not doubt something like it would emerge had Halo-ban communities existed. Sex dens? Yes, I can see that. Fight clubs, yes that, too. Shooting alley & human sacrifice are just frakkin’ disturbing.
MOST MOVING SCENES:
When Stoltz watches his daughter take her first steps as a cylon, you can feel that his reaction equals that of when she took her first steps as a baby. It’s a beautiful moment between father and ‘daughter’.
Also, when Joseph sits down with his son, William, and talks to begin life anew together. He emphasizes their Tauron culture and identity. *This* is their definition of what makes a person a person.
Only complaint I have is the young actress who plays Zoe was hard to understand at times. Her voice is very gravel-y and broken and she just needed to REALLY enunciate sometimes! I sorta hope she’s not in the series much more even though she plays a significant role in “Caprica”.